Founded in 1986, Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours began with coach tours and eventually expanded into the world of luxury river cruising (and later into ocean cruising with its expedition vessel, Scenic Eclipse). The Australian-owned sister company of Emerald Cruises, Scenic boasts of a “truly all-inclusive” experience without any hidden fees. All meals, beverages, Wi-Fi, personal butler service, a daily restocked in-suite refrigerator, transfers and a choice of shore excursions are covered in the upfront rate -- even tipping is included.
Scenic sails the rivers of Europe, Asia and Egypt. Here are a few of the brand’s luxe features.
The line’s Scenic Space-Ships boast roomy suites complete with private verandas. With the press of a button, the balcony’s glass pane rises to convert the area into a sun lounge, prime for river views and soaking up warm rays.
While on board, passengers have access to a wellness area with a spa and gym, and several vessels add a Vitality Pool on a panoramic sundeck. Ships also are outfitted with Nordic walking sticks and both electric and standard bicycles. Other fleet features include a high staff-to-passenger ratio, roomy bathrooms equipped with L’Occitane products and a pillow menu.
The France-based Scenic Sapphire and Scenic Diamond ships contain two unique amenities. Scenic Culinaire is a private cooking emporium where guests can immerse themselves in French cuisine by participating in onboard cooking classes. The space has top-notch stations and tools, fresh ingredients and a cheese and wine cellar. The second perk is the Salt Lounge, a calming, therapeutic spa experience.
Scenic’s fleet is equipped with a range of eateries. The River Cafe offers a quick bite from early breakfast to light snacks throughout the afternoon, including a gelato bar for a sweet treat. The main restaurant, Crystal Dining, caters to every meal with an array of cuisines, daily seafood specials and local fare.
Located at the front of the ship, the elegant Portobellos (or L’Amour on France sailings) serves regional specialties complemented by sweeping river views. The five-course menu of Italian, French or Portuguese cuisine is paired with wines from the region’s top vineyards. A personal invitation from the executive chef is extended to guests in select suites for a feast at Table La Rive, an exclusive six-course experience.
The Panorama Lounge and Bar provides guests with cocktails, coffee and tea while they partake of board and card games, and on the sundeck, river breezes and comfortable seating adds to the teppanyaki barbecue.
Pick a Pace
An array of included shore excursions allows travelers to customize their river cruise to their preferences. The Scenic Enrich program engages participants in local culture, activities and folklore. For example, guests can attend a gala dinner and concert at the Pope’s Palace in Avignon, France, or enjoy a front-row seat for the ballet in St. Petersburg, Russia.
With Scenic FreeChoice, guests can go at their own tempo. These excursions have a variety of paces: active, for those wanting to hop on a bike or take a hike; moderate, for those looking to wander through a city on foot; or relaxed, for those content to roam museums and galleries.
The self-guided, self-paced Scenic Tailormade explorations implement hand-held GPS devices that alert users to the highlights of each point of interest. Hundreds of personal tours are available, including biking options, and a trustworthy map ensures travelers won’t get lost. Passengers can stroll through Regensburg, Germany, listening to the history of its castle, or learn about the influence of the Habsburg dynasty in Vienna.
To get a feel for the Scenic experience, check out the video below.